Divisional rankings: Junior middleweight

Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below. If there is a lineal champion in the weight class he is ranked No. 1.

For a list of the current champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results through Dec. 11. In an effort to provide the most up-to-date rankings, ESPN.com's division-by-division boxing rankings will be updated every Tuesday.

More Divisional Rankings

Heavyweight - Cruiserweight - Light heavyweight - Super middleweight

Middleweight - Junior middleweight - Welterweight - Junior welterweight

Lightweight - Junior lightweight - Featherweight - Junior featherweight

Bantamweight - Junior bantamweight - Flyweight - Junior flyweight/Strawweight


1. Jermell Charlo (30-0)

Houston's Charlo, twin brother of former titleholder Jermall Charlo, returned from an 11-month layoff on April 22 and, in a dominant performance, drilled mandatory challenger Charles Hatley in a brutal sixth-round knockout victory. In his second defense, on Oct. 14, Charlo took on another mandatory challenger, 2016 ESPN.com prospect of the year Erickson Lubin in a fight many thought would be fiercely contested. But Charlo turned it into a one-sided blowout as he obliterated Lubin with a huge right hand in the first round.
Next: TBA

2. Erislandy Lara (25-2-2)
Lara, a former Cuban amateur standout, is a runner who usually stinks out his opponents and makes terrible fights. He has made six defenses against generally weak opposition, including the worst of them all on Jan. 13, when he destroyed semi-retired former titlist-turned-rabbi Yuri Foreman in the fourth round of a shameful mismatch. It was more of the same junk in defense No. 6 as he faced underqualified and overmatched 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha on Oct. 14. It was an all-time snoozer because even after Lara dropped Gausha in the fourth round in the only interesting moment of the bout, he never tried to go after Gausha in any meaningful way. Awful, awful fight that sent most of the crowd fleeing for the doors in the midst of the bout.
Next: TBA

3. Jarrett Hurd (21-0)
On Feb. 25, on the Deontay Wilder-Gerald Washington undercard, Hurd scored yet another impressive victory as he knocked out Tony Harrison in the ninth round to win the world title vacated a week earlier by Jermall Charlo in order to move up in weight. Hurd got an exception to his mandatory defense against Cedric Vitu in order to make his first defense against former titlist Austin Trout, whom he stopped in the 10th round of a sensational slugfest on Oct. 14.
Next: TBA

4. Sadam Ali (26-1)
New York's Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, crashed and burned when he stepped up in class to challenge Jessie Vargas for a vacant welterweight world title in March 2016, getting knocked out in the ninth round. But Ali has won four fights in a row since, including a so-far career-defining upset decision victory on Dec. 2 as he moved up in weight and outpointed the great Miguel Cotto to win a junior middleweight world title in Cotto's farewell fight.
Next: TBA

5. Austin Trout (30-4)
After back-to-back decision losses to Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara, former titleholder Trout scored four wins in a row (three by knockout), all against decent opposition to land another title shot against Jermall Charlo in May 2016. Trout was competitive all the way but lost a unanimous decision. He returned from a 17-month layoff on Oct. 14 and though he lost to world titleholder Jarrett Hurd by 10th-round stoppage it was a competitive fight and one of the most action-packed of the year.
Next: TBA

6. Maciej Sulecki (26-0)
Poland's Sulecki was cruising along as a middleweight but decided to drop down to junior middleweight in 2017 and has won three fights in a row in the weight class, including hard-fought decision victory in an all-action slugfest against former titlist Jack Culcay on the Murat Gassiev-Krzysztof Wlodarczyk undercard on Oct. 21. It was a win that moved him a step closer to a mandatory fight with Jermell Charlo.
Next: TBA

7. Julian Williams (24-1-1)
When Philadelphia's "J Rock" Williams got a mandatory title shot against Jermall Charlo in December 2016, he paid the price for all the trash talk he heaped on Charlo, who destroyed him with three hard knockdowns in a fifth-round knockout victory that surprised many who viewed the bout as an even-money bet. Williams returned on June 30 and scored a seventh-round knockout of Joshua Conley. Williams notched his second win in a row on Nov. 18 when he outpointed former titlist Ishe Smith over 10 rounds in a very tough fight.
Next: TBA

8. Liam Smith (26-1-1)
England's Smith, who lost his world title by ninth-round knockout to Canelo Alvarez in September 2016, stopped Wales' Liam Williams on cuts in the ninth round on April 8 but could not claim the interim title at stake because he had failed to make weight. He faced Williams in a rematch on Nov. 11 and won a majority decision in a title eliminator to earn a mandatory shot at the belt held by Miguel Cotto.
Next: TBA

9. Brian Castano (14-0)
Nicaragua's Castano scored his biggest victory on July 1 when he went on the road to France and claimed a split decision and an interim world title against veteran Michel Soro. He has been elevated to full titlist and will be ordered to face so-called super titleholder Erislandy Lara (25-2-2).
Next: TBA

10. Jack Culcay (22-3)
Culcay, born in Ecuador and fighting out of Germany, had won eight fights in a row since a 2013 decision loss, including claiming a secondary world title. But he lost that belt by split decision to Demetrius Andrade on March 11 in a very close fight. Then he dropped his second fight in a row, losing a unanimous 10-round decision to Poland's Maciej Sulecki in a brutal slugfest Oct. 21 on the Murat Gassiev-Krzysztof Wlodarczyk card.
Next: TBA